[In the ten seasons that Tony Romo has been the starting quarterback, he's engineered some great fourth-quarter heroics to bring the Cowboys to victories. Since 2006, no quarterback has had more fourth-quarter comeback victories, 25 to be exact, than Tony Romo. His passer rating in the final quarter of football is an astounding 102.9, five points higher than the number two guy (Aaron Rodgers). Romo also holds the mantle of most game-winning drives among active quarterbacks (29) as well as passer rating in the final two minutes (93.1).
Over the next several weeks before the team heads out to Oxnard and starts it all up again, I thought we could take some time to look back at Mr. Clutch Quarterback himself. We're going to rank all of his comeback tales from good to great, from awesome to completely amazing. Here's looking at you, Mr. Romo.]
10. Adrian Peterson Carries His Team, But It Wasn't Enough (Nov. 3, 2013)
At the time of this game, Peterson was on his way back to Texas but the Viking were 1-6 whereas the Cowboys were squarely at .500 with four wins and four losses. The Cowboys defense struggled to stop the run for the majority of that season and this was not the running back they wanted to see.
The Vikings received the kickoff but weren't able to make much of their first drive and were forced to punt it back. On the Cowboys' first drive, Romo finds Dez Bryant for six yards, Cole Beasley for another 12, and Dez again for another 10. This drive is looking pretty sharp as the Cowboys wanted to beat up on the poorer team. On the very next play, DeMarco Murray goes right up the middle for 27 yards to the Minnesota 26. Facing a 3rd and 7 from the Minnesota 23, Romo fails to connect with Bryant. Dan Bailey comes out and gives the 'Boys a 3-0 lead.
Cordarelle Patterson is able to take the kick back 45 yards, setting the Vikings up in a good position to make something of this drive. Christian Ponder attempts to get Peterson in rhythm but the Cowboys' hold the running game in check early. Ponder has a few nice completions to Jerome Simpson and Greg Jennings. On 3rd and 6 from the Dallas 7, Peterson fails to get the first and Blair Walsh kicks a 23-yarder to tie the game.
After each team's next drives fail, the Cowboys have the ball back on their own 16-yard line to begin their first drive of the second quarter. Like clockwork, Romo finds Witten for 6 yards then 7 yards to keep the drive going. Murray catches a pass and goes for another 12 and then another screen for four more yards. Romo to Dez for five, on 2nd and 6, Murray cleans up with another 6 yards on the ground. Romo, well into Vikings' territory, finds James Hanna for a 21-yard completion and then Cole Beasley for 11-yards on the next play. At the Minnesota 12, Romo misses Beasley. Then on back-to-back plays Romo is sacked by Brian Robinson. Bailey is out again with a 44-yard field goal to put the Cowboys up 6-3.
Patterson has another nice return on the kickoff for 29 yards. Peterson starts carving up the Cowboys defense with a 10-yard run on first down. Ponder is able to complete a six-yard pass to Toby Gerhart and Peterson runs another for 13 yards. Ponder to Jarius Wright for another 11 yards and then finds Peterson on a screen for 19 more yards. Peterson gets it to the Dallas 19 with a five-yard run and Ponder finds Jennings for another 7. On 3rd and 6 from the Dallas 6, Ponder keeps it and runs it in for the score, Vikings take the lead 10-6 with 1:41 in the half. Cowboys make a last effort to get down and get some points but Romo is sacked for the third time on 3rd down and the Vikings run one play to chew the clock. So, it's still 10-6 Vikings at the half.
After the break, Dwayne Harris fields the kick and runs it for 29 yards, giving the Cowboys great field position. Romo is back at the helm finding Dez for 5, Lance Dunbar for 2, then Beasley for 11 yards. Terrance Williams gets involved with a four-yard reception. Romo opens up on the Vikings secondary with a 26-yard pass to Jason Witten to get to the Vikings 26. On the very next play, Romo finds Witten again for deep over the middle for 26 yards and the touchdown to reclaim the lead 13-10.
On the kickoff, Patterson muffs the catch and the Vikings begin at their own 5-yard line. George Selvie strip-sacks Ponder and Nick Hayden recovers the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The Cowboys are up 20-10.
Seemingly angry, Ponder unleashes on his next drive as he leads his team down the field on passes of 4, 27, and 12 yards. On 2nd and 9 from the Cowboys 31, Ponder connects with Kyle Rudolph for 31-yards and the Viking are down 20-17 with 8:22 left in the third. The Cowboys' next drive ends in a punt as does the Vikings.
Romo gets the Cowboys back down into field goal range but Dez Bryant picks up an unsportsmanlike penalty that effectively ends their chances. Cowboys catch a break on the Vikings' next drive as Ponder is looking for Greg Jennings but finds Orlando Scandrick instead. However, Witten and Doug Free both pick up drive killing penalties and they punt it back to Minnesota.
In just eight plays, Ponder has the Vikings at the Dallas 11 where Adrian Peterson bruises the Cowboys defense on an 11-yard scoring run to give the Vikings the lead. Walsh shanks the extra point and the lead is 23-20 Vikings with 5:49 left to play in the game. The next Cowboys' drive is killed when Romo throws a pick looking for Terrance Williams. Just when this game seems over, the Vikings can't even get a first down.
This is where Romo is at his best, with 2:44 left, he goes right back to work. Romo to Witten for 11, Romo to Harris for 6, he then finds Beasley for 18 yards on a slant. Romo busts it wide open with a 34-yard pass to Bryant. On 1st and 10 from the Minnesota 21 with 1:00 on the clock, Romo to Beasley for 9 and then Witten for another 5. Cowboys call a timeout with 47 seconds left to play. The first pass is incomplete but then Romo finds Harris for seven yards and a stretch over the end zone, touchdown Dallas! Cowboys get to Ponder on 2nd down and with 22 seconds left the Vikings burn all their timeouts trying to make a go of it but there isn't anything there, Ponder fumbles again but is able to save the ball, it's too little, too late. Dallas seals the victory 27-23.
The Cowboys improve to 5-4 on the season as the Vikings fall to 1-7. Peterson had 140 yards on 25 attempts including that bull rushing touchdown. Tony Romo was just better on this day completing 34-51 pass attempts for 337 yards and two touchdown passes. It was Jason Witten that aided Romo most with his eight receptions and 102 yards receiving including a touchdown grab.